Since World War II, Hungary has exhibited several population trends that parallel those in other advanced societies. Population leveled off after the war and even began to decline. The birth rate fell, and people flocked from the countryside to the cities, especially to the major urban areas.
Trianon Hungary emerged from World War I with reduced borders roughly coterminous with Hungary's present-day borders. In 1920 Hungary had about 8 million inhabitants, and by 1941 the population had grown to approximately 9.3 million. But the country lost about 5 percent of its population in World War II, so as of 1949 the population was only about 8.8 million. Thereafter, the growth rate of the population fluctuated substantially. Until the mid-1950s, high fertility and declining mortality caused rapid population growth. In 1954 the highest postwar live-birth rate was reached, at 23 births per 1,000 population. Subsequently, until the mid-1960s the birth rate declined, but the mortality rate was also low. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the birth rate again rose, partly because of demographic measures introduced by the government in 1967 and 1973. Because the overall population had begun to age, the mortality rate also increased during this period, but it was counterbalanced by the higher rate of live births.
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